Growing-media producer Conrad Fafard, Inc. is introducing a full line of groundbreaking mixes this spring that the company says will transform how growers produce plants by changing the way they fertilize.
Through an exclusive agreement with The Scotts Company, Fafard has the sole rights to market Scotts’ new fertilizer technology in the United States, which lets Fafard add Osmocote Start to any of its mixes.
Osmocote Start is a second-generation controlled-release fertilizer that provides complete, balanced feeding for up to six weeks; eliminates mixing and feeding mistakes associated with water-soluble fertilizers; reduces or eliminates labor and inventory costs associated with WSFs; and reduces nitrogen and phosphorus leaching and run-off. It was trialed and used in the European market for several years before coming to the United States. Fafard also conducted its own series of greenhouse trials.
“Based on the research by Fafard and Scotts, growers can eliminate applying water-soluble nutrients to many of their short-term crops — along with the labor and error issues associated with that time-consuming practice — and grow a healthy crop,” said Jamie Gibson, Fafard's director of research and development. “The new Fafard mixes with Osmocote Start will also supply plants with a limited nutrient charge after growers ship them to the retailer.”
Osmocote Start will be available only in Fafard-branded growing mixes — loose-filled and compressed — from contracted Fafard distributors, beginning in April 2010. These mixes are intended for fast crops grown in 4-inch pots or smaller, such as marigolds, begonias, vincas and impatiens.
"We are pleased to join with Fafard in the exclusive introduction of one of our newest technologies, Osmocote Start controlled-release fertilizer," said Ted Piatt, senior director, Business, Scotts Professional - North America. "We feel that Fafard and Scotts are ideal partners, joining forces to offer growers the most innovative media and fertilizer mix in the industry. Both companies have a long heritage in, and commitment to, the professional horticulture markets, and we are proud to combine our resources to ensure the best value offer available in a pre-mix formulation."
For more information on The Scotts Company, visit www.ScottsPro.com  or call 800.492.8255. For more information on Fafard and its line of growing mixes, visit www.fafard.com  or call 800.732.8667.